Sunday, 25 April 2010

Sunday 25 April

Last nights moorings were much quieter than I expected them to be. As we were in town we ate out,walking a few hundred yards from the basin/town centre where things were much quieter. We found a nice little Italian restaurant called iL Bertorelli  http://www.ilbertorelli.co.uk/ that had some vacant tables. The service was good and the meals very tasty.
I needed to post some letters but all the post boxes we came across were sealed for the weekend. We found out later that this was because the town was celebrating Shakespeare's birthday. http://www.shakespearesbirthday.org.uk/.

This morning we woke not to the sound  of the dawn chorus or as I expected the mechanical street cleaners, but to the sound of rain on the roof at about 6 am. I don't know how long it lasted but it had cleared up before we were up. The Canaltime that had followed us down yesterday set off at 8 am so they were due a good road from all the locks they left yesterday. There was no point in hurrying away and chasing them up the locks so we left at a few minuets after 9 am. We just left the basin into the canal as a hire boat  was setting the first lock to go up, so we were still right behind some one. The did offer to let us passed but we told them to carry on.  As we left 4th lock the pound was well down and I was soon on the bottom, just being able to move of tickover. This is quite a long pound and I caught up the the hire boat in front stuck in the bridge hole about 150 yards before the lock, Diana had walked up and even though the boat ahead had dropped a lock full of water she ran some more down and soon had them afloat, I was going nowhere for a bit and then I slowly started creeping forward to the sound of the base plate scraping the debris on the bottom. The 5th lock No. 65 is adjacent to a wide road bridge forming a tunnel into the lock mouth, I had to bowhaul through this.
Once up the lock the next pound was just on weir with nothing flowing down the bywash. We were a bit short of water so stopped at the old Stratford Court Cruiser base to top up, but the tap was so slow we settled for half a tank. There is a notice in the window of the closed offices saying that Valley Cruisers hope to open up there with full services shortly, unfortunately the notice was not dated so I don't know how old it was.
We caught up with both the hire boat who had stopped for water and the Canaltime boat who had broken down at bridge 63 which now gave us the good road. The Canaltime pulled out behind us and followed us up the next 3 locks. We had bit of a problem at lock 47 and invited the Canaltime boat to pass, as they were mob handed the back set for us all the way up the flight to lock 40 which was as good a being in front. We didn't see them again after this as the long pound is quite shallow and limited our speed greatly.
We met a few boats between here and Lowsonford  so apart from leakage the locks were all with us. The weather managed to behave its self until 6 pm when it started to rain which continued right until we moored up at quarter past in almost the same spot as we were in 2 nights ago.

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